Graduate Certificate in Employment Relations - 2017

Please note: This course has recently undergone a major change. Please refer to Transition Arrangements for more information.

The 2018 course information for this course is now available. View 2018 course details.

Course summary

Course summary - 2017

Level: Postgraduate
Qualification: Graduate Certificate
Number of units: 4 units to complete

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Restrictions apply. See Eligibility.

This course has restricted enrolment. You must apply and be accepted before you can enrol in units.

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Operating Hours

Standard hours

Mon - Fri: 8am - late

Sat & Sun: 9am - 5pm

All times in Australian Eastern
Standard Time (AEST) or Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)

Please note: There have been changes to the unit codes in this program. Please refer to the Recommended Study Pattern for more information.

The Employment Relations course will develop and deepen a student’s understanding of key policy formulation, negotiation and implementation matters pertaining to the employment relationship in dynamic contexts. It encompasses workplace and institutional practices and strategies, employment law, negotiation and dispute resolution, managing equity and diversity, workplace health and safety, managing rewards and performance and employment relations strategy. The course is designed to provide students with in-depth current knowledge of employment relations and the capacity to use that knowledge.

Graduates may be responsible for helping formulate policy and its implementation in the context of changing international, national and industry based employment practices. Graduates may work in both human resource management and employment relations. Graduates may also assume advisory and consultant positions, industrial officer and organiser positions in employer associations, employment relations consulting firms and unions.

This course will enable students to develop a general understanding of the employment relations environment, including theoretical and practical knowledge regarding:

  • The people and institutions in employment relations (employees, employers, employer associations, unions, government organisations and other bodies)
  • The processes used by those participants in negotiating and reaching decisions and the outcomes that arise
  • The contribution of Employment Relations to organisations and society as a whole
  • The political, economic and social context in which ER is practised.


  • Demonstrate a contemporary understanding of existing and emerging ER issues, processes, legal frameworks and strategic approaches in diverse organisational contexts.


  • Demonstrate the ability to obtain and analyse data relevant to ER issues in evolving organisational  contexts.
  • Demonstrate the ability to exercise judgement under supervision to recommend appropriate solutions for evolving ER tasks in diverse contexts and to diverse audiences.
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyse and evaluate relevant ethical, legal and social considerations in an impartial way for routine and evolving ER issues.   
  • Demonstrate the ability to justify, interpret and communicate diverse ER ideas in a broad set of personal and group contexts.


  • Demonstrate the ability to apply a broad and coherent knowledge of foundational and contemporary ER theories, concepts, practical principles and processes in diverse local and international contexts.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply ER knowledge and skills with creativity and initiative to new situations and in professional practice.


To be eligible for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Employment Relations, a student must:

  • hold any Bachelor degree (or equivalent) from a recognised University (or other tertiary education institution of equivalent standing) with a minimum GPA of 4.0 (using a 7.0 scale),


  • have a minimum of five years equivalent full-time professional work experience in a relevant field

Degrees from overseas institutions must be assessed as equivalent to a recognised Australian bachelors-level degree.

English language requirements

English language requirements apply to International applicants and other applicants whose previous study was undertaken in a language other than English. The minimum English language requirements for such applicants for entry to these programs are as follows:

  • A minimum score of 580 on TOEFL
  • OR an internet-based (iBT) TOEFL score of 79 (no score less than 19)
  • OR a minimum overall band score of 6.5 on IELTS (Academic) with no sub-score of less than 6.0
  • OR no score less than 3+ in each skill of the ISLPR (conducted by ISLPR Language Services only)
  • OR a minimum grade of C on the Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
  • OR a minimum grade of C on the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
  • OR a minimum score of 61 in the Pearson Test of English (Academic) with a minimum of 54 in all Communicative Skills.

English test results must be no more than two years old.

Students are strongly urged to enrol in EHR710 Australian Employment Relations (Previously IRL100) in their first Session. Students commencing in Session 2 should contact the Course Director for advice.

Changes in 2016:

In 2016 there have been changes to the unit codes in the Master of Employment Relations and the Graduate Certificate in Employment Relations. Details of those unit code changes can be found in the table below. These changes will take affect in Study Session 1 2016.

Current Unit Code Unit Name New Unit Code
IRL100 Australian Employment Relations EHR710
IRL110 Dynamics of Workplace Relations EHR711
IRL120 Regulation of Employment Relationships EHR712
IRL130 Negotiation and Dispute Resolution EHR713
IRL140 Managing Equity and Diversity EHR704
IRL150 Managing Performance and Rewards EHR705
IRL160 Work Health and Safety EHR706
IRL170 Employment Relations Strategy EHR707

To qualify for the award of Graduate Certificate in Employment Relations students must complete four units.

The maximum period for completing this program is 2 years.

Total number of units to complete: 4 units Required Elective Optional
Unit name Code Provider Availability
Australian Employment Relations (Previously IRL100)
EHR710 GRF Sess 1 - -
Regulation of Employment Relationships (IRL120)
EHR712 GRF - Sess 2 -
Negotiation and Dispute Resolution (Previously IRL130)
EHR713 GRF - Sess 2 -
Principles of Human Resource Management and Employment Relations
EHR701 GRF Sess 1 - -

The Graduate Certificate in Employment Relations or Human Resources will articulate into the Master of Employment Relations. Students will be awarded credit towards the Masters course.

Credit may be awarded for study undertaken at another tertiary institution and students are encouraged to contact the Course Convenor for further information.

When you have completed your final session of study, OUA students should notify Griffith University of their intention to graduate with the award of Master of Employment Relations. Please contact Griffith (OUA) Services on

You can pay fees in one of two main ways:

Eligible OUA students can access the government loan scheme known as FEE-HELP. You pay back the loan through your taxes once your income reaches a minimum threshold.

Who can access it?

  • Australian citizens who will undertake, in Australia, at least one unit of study contributing to their course
  • Permanent humanitarian visa holders who will be resident in Australia for the duration of their unit
  • Permanent visa holders who are undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals, and will be resident in Australia for the duration of their study

Find out more about FEE-HELP

You can pay your fees upfront - in full at the beginning of a unit - using:
  • Credit card (Visa and MasterCard)
  • Cheque
  • Money order

You should make cheques and money orders payable to 'Open Universities Australia' and send them to:
Open Universities Australia
GPO Box 5387
Melbourne 3001

Changes in 2015:

This program is being lengthened from 80 credit points to 120 credit points, in meeting the AQF requirements for a 1.5 year Level 9 Masters program following a relevant Level 7 qualification. The first admit for the Masters of Employment Relations is Session 1 2015.

The AQF requires that coursework Masters degrees include a compulsory research methods plus independent research component and compulsory project work/practice-related learning component.  The Masters of Employment Relations (120CP) has two units that address these requirements - EHR702 and  IRL170.

This major changes requires the addition of the following units:

EHR700 Managing Organisation Policy
EHR701 Principles of Human Resource Management and Employment Relations
EHR702 Evidence-based Practice in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations
EHR703 International & Comparative Human Resource Management and Employment Relations

Changes in 2017:

Unit removed from offer in 2017:
EH702 - Evidence-based practice in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations

New unit on offer in 2017:
EHR708 - The Future of Work

For existing students seeking further information regarding these transitions or for study plan advice, please contact your course coordinator or Griffith OUA services -

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